The Viognier grape originated in the Rhone Valley of France and is used throughout the world to make full-bodied, aromatic white wines that are noted for their floral characteristics. The most famous region in the world for Viognier is Condrieu in the Northern Rhone Valley. In the Sierra Foothills, Viognier, like all Rhone varieties, thrives in the warm Mediterranean climate and granitic soils. The cooling influences help maintain the acidity level which can in some climates drop too rapidly. You will find versions in a variety of styles, from richly oaked and creamy to bright and tangy, and we love it all.
FOOTHILLS WINO PANEL SELECTION
Terre Rouge is world famous for their Rhone reds, but we are also smitten with their whites. This limited bottling Viognier from their organic vineyard in Fiddletown isn't always easy to find, but it is so worth the effort. This has a Northern Rhone feel combined with an unmistakeable Foothills quality, as only Terre Rouge can accomplish. The floral nose on this wine is pure heaven.
OTHER FAVORITE FOOTHILLS VIOGNIERS
Bella Grace is quickly becoming one of our favorite white wine producers in Amador County with some amazingly interesting Albariño, Vermentino, and Grenache Blanc, and their Viognier is very much included in the battle for the top of the list. Enjoy some in their cave in the Shenandoah Valley or in their tasting room in Sutter Creek.
Viognier is the only white wine Jonathan produces from his organic vineyard, and he has nearly perfected it. Each vintage is distinct, and all are delicious and worth trying. It is very important to Jonathan that his wines demonstrate a sense of place and reflect the conditions of their vintage, and perhaps none of his wines do that more than the Viognier does.
Carrie and Josh Bendick have been making beautiful Rhone wines at Holly's Hill for years, including a full selection of amazing white wines. The Viognier is classically constructed with roundness and body. The floral aromas are intoxicating in this rock-solid Viognier that never disappoints.
La Mesa is a relative newcomer on the Amador County stage with a beautiful tasting room and a wide selection of increasingly interesting wines. Making white wine in the warm Amador County is no small task, but La Mesa is able to pull off a wonderful version of Viognier. This wine delights on both the nose and palate. It is full bodied, yet bright and tart.
The high elevation Viognier vines help maintain acidity, and the old-world winemaking techniques add the depth and richness to make this a stunning wine. It nearly always sells out, so grab some whenever you see it!
This crisp and clean Viognier from the Le Mulet Rouge estate vineyard in Fiddletown won our original blind tasting competition in 2018 and was named our Viognier of the Year. It is still just as good as ever. Picked early and full of freshness, this is a springtime beauty.
The Miraflores Viognier is probably the richest, roundest, and spiciest Viognier on our list. This weighty and contemplative wine, full of luscious tropical fruits, vanilla, and honey will coat your mouth and linger for a long finish. If this is your style, you'll enjoy this one!
Fifty years ago, John MacCready had the foresight to plant a wide swath of own-rooted Viognier vines on a north-facing slope near the crest of the edge of Pleasant Valley. Those vines are now in the hands of a skilled new team who is taming the alcohol and increasing the brightness. Be sure to buy one of the newer vintages, and keep a close eye on this wine in the coming years.
When the Skinners purchased their Fair Play property nearly two decades ago, there wasn't much there other than a few north-facing Viognier vines that now greet you at the entrance. The vines have always been stubborn and low-producing, but the quality of the fruit is unmistakable, and the wine is consistently delicious.
This delightful Viognier from Starfield straddles the stylistic dichotomy of the grape in the Foothills, and we are here for it. One moment you think you are drinking a light, fresh version and then the richness and depth starts to grow on you. It's hard to know where to classify it, but that's maybe a good thing. The floral and tropical nose alone makes this wine a winner.